How Poor Breathing can be caused by Birth Trauma and how it can contribute to your ADHD/Dyslexia.


ADHD and Dyslexia are complex neurological conditions that can have a significant impact on an individual’s life. While there are various factors that contribute to the development and manifestation of these conditions, one often overlooked aspect is the role of poor breathing. In this article, I will take you through how poor breathing patterns can contribute to ADHD and Dyslexia,how they can in turn be caused by birth trauma, how it’s all connected, and how resolving these is an essential part of healing these conditions.

Understanding the Link:

Breathing is a vital and often automatic function of the body. However, many people develop poor breathing habits due to factors such as stress and a sedentary lifestyle. A poor breathing pattern is simply one where we shallow breathe into our chest resulting in less oxygen getting into our bloodstream and brain.

Another factor that can lead to poor breathing patterns are active nervous system reflexes due to unresolved birth trauma.

Connection to unintegrated Primitive Reflexes:

These reflexes are an often overlooked factor in ADHD/Dyslexia. They are nervous system reflexes that we have from a few weeks after conception to about 1 year old. They ensure survival, for example to withdraw from danger, to suck milk from our mother’s breast, or to wiggle out of the birth canal. 

When they are no longer needed they are turned off or ‘integrated’ by the nervous system at the right time. 

How primitive reflexes can stay active

If a child experiences some kind of trauma or extreme fear in the womb such as its’ mothers’ extreme stress, being stuck in the birth canal or some other complication, then one or more of these reflexes can stay active or ‘unintegrated’ in childhood or adulthood. 

They can also be turned on again due to trauma later in life and are often present in people with PTSD.

Two common ‘active’ reflexes in ADHD/Dyslexia

One of these reflexes is the Fear Paralysis Reflex (FPR) which is active at 5 – 12 weeks after conception and which makes an embryo recoil from being poked or some other form of danger. 

Another is the Moro Reflex which is activated at around 12 weeks after conception and should be turned off 2 -4 months after birth. It’s a baby’s/infants primary fight/flight reflex when there is any danger, real or perceived.

When these reflexes are not integrated they can cause constant fear, panic, withdrawal and/or constant sensory overload. 

This results in short shallow breaths which result in lower oxygen levels to the brain, reinforcing the feeling of danger and fear. Lower levels of oxygen can also affect levels of dopamine, serotonin and adrenaline because oxygen is needed to make these brain chemicals in the cells. Optimal levels of these three chemicals are essential to ADHD/Dyslexia sufferers.

Addressing Poor Breathing and Primitive Reflexes:

What breathing patterns can help?

There are two breathing patterns that can be life changing. 

The first is called circular breathing. This is a basic and wonderful pattern where you simply learn to breathe fully into the stomach and then chest and you keep going until you arch your head gently back and you can’t breathe any more air in. You then let it all out gently and start again without a pause so you create a circular breathing pattern. 

The second is called water breathing and you simply breathe out for 2x the length of your in-breath. This calms the nervous system, dampens the fight-or-flight response and allows you to focus again. It’s a chinese breath technique and it’s called water breathing because it dampens the internal ‘fire’ of panic and fear.

How can you find out which of these reflexes are active, and how can you turn them off?

🧪 Testing for unintegrated Reflexes:

We use what’s called a muscle test to check if one of the reflex tests is stressing the person being tested. This is done by applying gentle downward pressure on an outstretched arm. If the person can resist the pressure, it indicates the person is not experiencing excessive stress at that moment. This is called a ‘strong’ response. If we then do one of the functional tests below just after the test, and they are unable to resist the pressure, it indicates that the reflex is active. This is called a ‘weak’ response. 

For example, to test if an FPR is active, we gently but firmly poke the subject on several areas of the arms and abdomen, and then muscle test. If the response is weak, it indicates an active FPR. 

To test if a Moro Reflex is active, we ask the subject to focus on an object about 30 cm away for 10 seconds. If they are weak to this it signifies that they could have an active Moro reflex as focusing on the object is stressful to the nervous system. 

⚡ Integrating (Turning off) the Reflexes:

Integration is achieved through a combination of Qigong (Chinese energy work) and physical exercises.  


The energy of the birth trauma that is causing the reflex to remain unintegrated (active) is stored in our meridian system. This is the meridian system used in Chinese medicine and healing. In this case, the meridians are the Conception Vessel and the Penetrating Vessel. To heal this energy we learn how to generate Qi with our breath, and touch the points of these meridians on our body while breathing and anchoring ourselves.

This energy of the trauma can then come out. When the energy of the trauma comes out it can manifest as shaking, animal sounds, crying, or burping. Over time, as we heal, the reflexes become weaker and weaker until they are integrated.

Physical Exercises

Each reflex also has a number of exercises to physically integrate them. For example for the FPR there is a wonderful exercise called the spinal lift where you gently come from a fetal position to open your arms and lift your neck up gently to the sky. 

For the Moro Reflex there is a belly breathing exercise. In this you lie on the floor belly down and you just breathe gently into your stomach against the pressure of the floor. 

Both of these exercises enable the nervous system to kind of physically go through the process of integrating the reflex that should have happened at 8 weeks, 6 months or whatever. 

Can I learn how to do this for myself or my child?

Of course! If you or your child, or someone you know has ADHD and/or Dyslexia, you can join the Inner Freedom online healing ADHD/Dyslexia Program where you can learn for yourself how to do this and everything else you need to heal in a structured, supported and safe environment.

To learn more about the online healing ADHD/Dyslexia Program, click on the link below and start your healing journey today! 💪

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